We English majors and grammarians like to think we remember all the rules about writing, but there’s nothing wrong with a refresher to help us get it right.
I recently finished a project which contained narrative with a lot of dates and numbers, large and small. I wasn’t sure which numbers should be spelled out and which should be in numeric form. This handy article from Writer’s Digest explains it all.
While the article states that there are different opinions on the subject, here’s the general rule:
- Spell out all numbers 0-9.
- Use numeric symbol for 10 and above.
- Spell out all numbers that begin with a sentence.
- Never spell out calendar years, even if they begin a sentence.
- Always use figures for ages of people, dates, monetary amounts, percentages and ratios.
Now that’s a rule I can follow!
What’s your policy on spelling out numbers? What grammar and writing rules are you sometimes unsure about?
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